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Ex-'Nole Bentley in plans for camp

The Bucs are attempting to sign former Florida State placekicker Scott Bentley.

As a rookie last season, the former Seminoles star appeared in two games with Atlanta and one with Denver. Both of his field goals and all four PATs, however, came while filling in for Broncos placekicker Jason Elam against New England in Week 6.

The Bucs contacted Bentley before this weekend's minicamp and hope to have him under contract soon so he can participate in the off-season workout programs and compete with Michael Husted when players report to training camp July 19.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Bentley was a four-year starter at Florida State and one of the most highly recruited kickers in the nation. His biggest kick came when he drilled a 22-yard field goal with 21 seconds left against Nebraska in the '94 Orange Bowl to give the Seminoles their only national championship.

The Bucs also are expected to offer a contract to linebacker/long snapper Mitch Palmer.

The Northern Colorado free agent was in training camp last preseason with the Carolina Panthers and was impressive during the five minicamp workouts Friday and Saturday.

"He's done a good job," Bucs coach Tony Dungy said. "He's been in minicamps before and hasn't made it anywhere. He's probably like the kickers that end up going three or four places and finally they'll catch on and end up snapping for a long time. You can see he's confident of himself, he knows what he's doing, he's not awed by the situation. He's got good accuracy, good velocity. He's pretty good."

The Bucs are looking to add a long snapper after losing guard-center Jim Pyne to the Detroit Lions during free agency.

BACKFIELD MOTION: Dungy said the team probably will add another running back _ most likely a veteran _ before training camp workouts begin July 20.

The Bucs traded Errict Rhett to the Baltimore Ravens during the off-season. But by acquiring fullback Lorenzo Neal in a trade with the Jets, Mike Alstott figures to see more time at tailback. Jerry Ellison, an excellent special-teams player, is primarily a third-down back. That possibly leaves one more spot for another running back who probably would not be active on Sundays unless there was an injury.

"We'll look outside for that fifth back, but we're really sitting in pretty good shape because we've got some guys with versatility," Dungy said. "Jerry Ellison obviously has done it for us and does a tremendous job and plays well on special teams. Getting Lorenzo allows us to use Mike at halfback a little bit more. So between the three guys, we've got three halfbacks. Now it's a matter of finding a solid fifth guy whether it ends up being another fullback or another halfback."

LINE DRILL: The Bucs continue to look for depth on the offensive line to replace Pyne. Rookie Todd Washington, a fourth-round pick from Virginia Tech, and second-year pro Kevin Dogins are the most likely candidates.

"Todd Washington we think is going to be able to help us," Dungy said. "Some of our young guys are going to have to come on."

INJURIES: Alstott did not participate because he is recovering from off-season wrist surgery. QB Jeff Brohm will not take part in passing drills because of a pulled rib cage muscle. OT Jerry Wunsch (stiff neck) and G Brian Newnam (knee) were held out for precautionary reasons.

_ RICK STROUD

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